Kawhi Leonard scores 31, Raptors rout Pelicans

first_imgLATEST STORIES Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief “We know they can run, but we like to run, too,” Lowry said. “We got some easy buckets out of it.”Holiday, the Pelicans’ second-leading scorer, was ruled out Thursday because of an abdomen strain that is expected to sideline him at least a week. On Friday, the Pelicans first announced that swing player E’Twaun Moore also would miss at least a week because he’d reinjured his left quadriceps, and then that Davis would sit out against the Raptors with back spasms. The Pelicans’ front court got even thinner when Jahlil Okafor went out with a left ankle sprain after halftime.Still, New Orleans kept the game competitive until late in the third quarter, when Danny Green hit consecutive 3s during a 9-0 run that widened Toronto’s lead to 88-75.“I still think that we competed and to me, that’s the most important thing. I don’t really care who we put out there,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We just ran into a situation in the middle of the third quarter where they had guys to go to and we missed a couple of layups, missed a couple of open 3s and that’s where they got the separation.”When Jeremy Lin and Lowry hit consecutive 3s in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Raptors’ lead had grown to 21 and fans started making their way toward the exits.TIP-INSRaptors: Lin scored 14 points and Green had 13, going 3 of 4 from 3-point range. … Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 11 rebounds. … Toronto was 13 of 37 on 3-pointers (35.1 percent).Pelicans: Elfird Payton scored 13 points, Ian Clark scored 11 and Darius Miller 10. … F Solomon Hill played for the first time since Feb. 4 after not getting any playing time in New Orleans’ previous 13 games. Hill played 12 minutes, scoring his only points on a 3-pointer to go with two rebounds, an assist and a steal.BETTER BENCHWith Lin and Ibaka leading the way, Raptors reserves combined for 47 points, a sharp increase in production from their recent losses to Detroit and Houston. 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Julius Randle had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Cheick Diallo had 16 points and 12 boards for New Orleans.Leonard met little resistance in the paint. While he missed four of five 3-point attempts, he was 13 of 15 from closer range. He threw down a handful of dunks on drives or cuts and mixed in a finger roll and reverse layup.“He used his strength a lot tonight,” Lowry said. “He got to his spots really well.”Toronto shot 54.1 percent (53 for 98), scoring 66 points in the paint and a season-high 53 on fast breaks.ADVERTISEMENT Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship historycenter_img Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Heat stay hot, pull away late to beat Cavaliers “We take a lot of pride in being good with our unit and so we know that the second unit in the last two games has been far from that,” Lin said. “Tonight, we wanted to make sure we put a stamp on the game in a positive direction.”UP NEXTRaptors: Visit Miami on Sunday for the second of three straight road games.Pelicans: Visit Atlanta on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans guard Kenrich Williams (34) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)NEW ORLEANS — Kawhi Leonard was bound to have a big night.New Orleans was without its best on-the-ball defender in Jrue Holiday and best rim protector in Anthony Davis. Those absences gave Leonard an opportunity to use the Pelicans’ up-tempo pace against them by going strong to the basket early and often.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more